Gooch impresses in USMNT cameo
Thanks to American-based Sunderland supporter @J_Fitzgerald4 for providing this summary of Lynden Gooch’s performance for the United States national team yesterday evening - it sounds like he had a good game.
Sunderland midfielder Lynden Gooch picked up his third cap for his country last night as he played the final thirty minutes for the United States in a 1-1 draw against Portugal.
Gooch was deployed as a left midfielder but did roam a bit, as evidenced by his 65th minute run down the right flank on the counter where he put in a good cross that was deflected back to the Portuguese goalkeeper.
Throughout his time on the pitch he provided a burst of energy going forward, playing several more dangerous crosses in, though none led to a goal for the US.
The 21-year-old displayed good vision, picking out teammates in the box to cross to, but at the same time he didn’t force things that weren’t there. He also showed ability on the ball, as he was strong in possession and was willing to take on defenders to get himself into good positions on the wing.
Gooch wasn’t too fancy, but he used his pace and good control to break down Portuguese defenders multiple times. On top of his attacking contributions, the Academy of Light product did well winning possession in the midfield and tracking back defensively.
This was the USA’s first friendly since failing to qualify for the World Cup, and it’s a very good sign for the California native not only to have received a call-up, but also to have gotten game time.
The US rolled out a young lineup in Leiria and this game is seen by many as the first look into the future of the US men’s national team. For him to be included in the squad, it means that he is very much on the radar and has the potential to be a consistent player for his country going forward.
His performance should only raise his stock among fans and coaches alike. Hopefully this solid display can also boost his confidence as he heads back to the Stadium of Light to reunite with his Sunderland teammates before their match with Millwall on Saturday.
Aiden McGeady played in the second half of the Republic of Ireland’s devastating loss in their World Cup qualifier play-off against Denmark, a game that they eventually lost 5-1.
Aiden McGeady has 93 caps. I know I should have known this, but 93!!— Tom English (@BBCTomEnglish) November 15, 2017
John O’Shea was an unused substitute, whilst former Sunderland players James McClean, Daryl Murphy and David Meyler all started the game.
With Denmark 2-1 up going into the break, Ireland manager Martin O’Neill opted to make two more attacking changes by bringing on both Wes Hoolahan and McGeady in a bid to get back into the game.
But, neither change proved successful as the Danes - and, in particular, Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen - picked the Irishmen apart with ease.
Irish fans took to twitter to vent their frustration at McGeady’s performance, noting in particular his inability to beat the first man with a cross.
The Irish Times were particularly scathing in their report of the game, noting ‘McGeady, as usual, contributed nothing’ and pointing out ‘the decision to put Aiden McGeady on was strange: what had he done in his previous 92 caps to suggest he was the man to turn to at a moment like this?’.
Former Sunderland striker Nicklas Bendtner rounded off proceedings with a late penalty, sending his side through at the expense of the Irish, who now haven’t qualified for a World Cup since 2002.
Elsewhere, youngster Elliot Embleton played just under an hour for England U19s as they ran out 1-0 winners in their European Under-19 Championship qualifer with Bulgaria.
Embleton is one of the few Sunderland youngsters that stands a genuine chance of becoming a regular at first team level, provided the next manager gives him ample opportunities to impress in competitive games.
And, as evidenced in the fact he plays for England at youth level, Embleton is a very good player that just needs a chance - and continually turning out for his country will do his CV and future prospects no harm at all.
Bryan Oviedo played the final thirty minutes of Costa Rica’s friendly defeat to Hungary, where they were beaten 1-0 at the Groupama Arena in Budapest.
Celtic defender Cristian Gamboa started ahead of Oviedo, and with the World Cup right around the corner it would be beneficial for both country and player if Sunderland’s fortunes were to turn around soon, as his starting position in the side is seriously under threat whilst we languish at the bottom of England’s second tier.